Known across the GTA as one of the best places for artisan fare, Pusateri’s has been elevating Toronto’s food scene since 1963. Empire asked Ida Pusateri, the grocer’s matriarch, to share her secrets for entertaining this summer. Ida and her children are always working to continue the legacy and vision of her late husband, Cosimo Pusateri, whose goal was to bring the best quality food to the Toronto market. Today, Ida, along with her brother Frank, lead the business with five locations across the GTA. Here we discover her best summer entertaining tips.
Ida’s Summer Entertaining Guide
Summer is a time for entertaining, whether you spend it poolside, on a dock at the cottage or lounging on your patio. If you are having guests over, follow my outdoor entertaining tips to ensure a stress-free season. Nothing says easy and breezy like a beautiful spread of charcuterie and some fun summer cocktails. Guests can casually nibble on light bites while sipping their drinks, and the host can be alongside them instead of prepping in the kitchen. The best part is how easy this is to throw together: the perfect antipasto platter is a balance of cured meats; briny olives; soft and hard cheese; sweet, fresh or dried fruits; and spreads of crackers and bread to sop it all up.
My Go-To’s Are:
Duero Manchego and Quince (salty ripe cheese and sweet jelly)
• Pusateri’s Coppa Emiliana Riserva
• Pitted Frescatrano Olives
• Piaceri D’Italia Salame
• Yellow Peruvian Peppers (I call them sweetie drops)
• Roasted Red Tomatoes (soft and sweet)
• Fine Cheese Co. Crackers
• Fiorelle Bocconcini (fresh cheese is best in the summer)
• Wagener’s Landjaegar
• Beemster’s Graskaas (another sharp, rich cheese)
Try This Summer Sipper: Tangerine Aperol Spritz
Sipping cocktails outside is a wonderful way to stay cool on hot summer days. Pusateri’s has some delicious recipes in our repertoire, including this Tangerine Aperol Spritz.
Splash LaCroix Tangerine Sparkling Water
2 oz. Sparkling wine
1¼ oz. Aperol Blood orange wheel.
1. Pour Aperol and sparkling wine into a cocktail glass over ice.
2. Top with splash of LaCroix Tangerine sparkling water.
3. Garnish with blood orange wheel.
If you’re looking to fire up the grill for your next party, plan a menu of simple dishes that work well together and can be prepared in advance. I have four go to grilling menus that I like to rotate throughout the season.
North American Menu
Wagyu Beef Frankfurters Topped 3 Ways • Charred Summer Corn with Maple-infused Butter • Grilled Peaches with Gelato & Maple Bourbon Caramel
Moroccan Spiced Bone-in Filet & Shaved Asparagus with Honey-Harissa Vinaigrette • Burrata Caprese with Roasted Grapes and Balsamic Reduction
Korean-style Pear and Soju Marinated Short Ribs • Lychee, Cucumber & Daikon Salad with Chili Vinaigrette • Wildbrine Korean Kimchi
South American Menu
Grilled Queso Cotija with Dill Chimichurri • Spicy Jicama with Cucumber & Fruit Skewers
For recipes and more, visit the pusateri’s website here.
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